Abstract Title:

Phenolic acids are in vivo atheroprotective compounds appearing in the serum of rats after blueberry consumption.

Abstract Source:

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Sep 28 ;59(18):10381-7. Epub 2011 Sep 1. PMID: 21866950

Abstract Author(s):

Chenghui Xie, Jie Kang, Jin-Ran Chen, Shanmugam Nagarajan, Thomas M Badger, Xianli Wu

Article Affiliation:

USDA Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 15 Children's Way, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202, United States.


Blueberries (BB) have recently been shown to have cardioprotective effects and to prevent atherosclerosis in rodent models. However, the bioactive compounds in BB responsible for these effects have not yet been characterized. Seven phenolic acids (7PA) were identified as metabolites in the serum of rats fed diets supplemented with 10% freeze-dried BB. In this study, 7PA were evaluated for their potential atheroprotective effects in murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7. 7PA were found to inhibit LPS-induced mRNA expression and protein levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α and IL-6 by reducing MAPK JNK, p38, and Erk1/2 phosphorylation. After treatment with 7PA for 2 weeks, mRNA expression and protein levels of scavenger receptor CD36 were decreased (P<0.05), whereas type A scavenger receptor (SR-A) remained unchanged. Moreover, foam cell formation induced by oxLDL and oxLDL binding to macrophages was also inhibited by 7PA. In addition, 7PA increased (P<0.05) expression and protein levels of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), which facilitates cholesterol efflux and reduces cholesterol accumulation in macrophages. In summary, the present study demonstrates that certain phenolic acids are potential in vivo atheroprotective compounds following BB consumption in the rodent model. Because BB contain many phytochemicals, other as yet unidentified bioactive compounds may also be important in preventing atherosclerosis in this model and, possibly, in humans.

Study Type : Animal Study

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